After tragedy strikes a Johnston County family, community responds with money for medical bills

More than 100 people have contributed to a GoFundMe campaign to help the family of an 8-year-old Clayton girl who died in an automobile accident on Wednesday.

The fundraiser for medical bills surpassed its $7,000 goal early Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after it began. It had been shared more than 850 times on Facebook.

"We cannot express the gratitude we feel right now as we have reached our goal in less than 24 hours!" said a GoFundMe post by Joey Pridgen. "What a great community we have."

"This is what it means to come together and rally for our neighbors!" the post continued. "Let’s keep this going everybody, please keep sharing and posting! There’s a family out there suffering an unimaginable loss and this could be (peace) of mind for them all as they continue through this process!"

Lucy Hutchins was in her father’s SUV on Wednesday when it ran off the road and overturned. She died at WakeMed about 90 minutes after the wreck.

"Our community has been grief stricken with the loss of Lucy Hutchins," another GoFundMe post said. "Lucy was a sweet 8 year old little girl who tragically lost her life in a car accident this week. Her father and older sister are still hospitalized from the accident and face many hardships towards recovery."

The crash happened at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday on N.C. 42 East near Woodberry Drive, according to the N.C. State Highway Patrol.

Douglas Hutchins was driving east in a 2011 Toyota 4Runner with his two daughters. He swerved to avoid hitting a car that had stopped for traffic, but his SUV went off the road and down an embankment before it struck a tree stump and overturned, the Highway Patrol said.

Lucy attended River Dell Elementary School